Friday, January 25, 2008

Impunity in Sudan

The U.N. must either stand up to the Sudanese thugs now or pack up its peacekeepers and go home.

It's a bleak day for humanity when one of the architects of the genocide in Darfur gets a promotion. In a gesture of supreme defiance of decency and international law, the Sudanese government announced Monday that it had appointed Musa Hilal, a militia leader who recruited and mobilized the janjaweed militias responsible for the carnage in Darfur, to be a special advisor to the president on ethnic affairs.

It gets worse. Hilal is the third alleged war criminal to be elevated to a government post. He is under United Nations and U.S. State Department sanctions; the other two have been indicted by the International Criminal Court. In an especially cynical move, one of the indicted has been put in charge of humanitarian aid to Darfur. Sudan also has been doing everything possible to obstruct the deployment of U.N. peacekeepers, including shooting at a clearly marked U.N. convoy this month.

Appeasement and negotiation from a position of weakness have not and will not stop the thuggery of the oil-rich Sudanese regime. Only muscle will do. But the "civilized" world has done next to nothing to enforce meaningful economic sanctions, hasn't even moved to arrest the indicted war criminals and, disgracefully, has yet to provide even one of the helicopters that U.N. peacekeepers need. It's time to face facts: Unless the U.N. gets far more political, economic and military support from its posturing but so-far feckless members, it may as well pack up its blue helmets and go home. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Monday, January 21, 2008

Janjaweed chief named presidential advisor

A Sudanese militia leader accused of committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur has been appointed as special advisor to President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, Human Rights Watch reported on Monday.
Musa Hilal is a "notorious" janjaweed militia leader and he and his men have perpetrated serious crimes, Richard Dicker, director of the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch, said.

"Rewarding him with a special government post is a slap in the face to Darfur victims and to the U.N. Security Council," according to Dicker.

In April 2006, the U.N. Security Council imposed a travel ban and asset freezes against Hilal and in 2004 the U.S. State Department named him as "one of the six militia leaders alleged to be responsible for serious crimes in Darfur," Human Rights Watch reported.

For Dicker, his appointment as a presidential advisor is "a clear rejection and slap in the face at the international expectations, and at the same time it is a way in which the Sudanese government can measure the intensity of response from the international community." Read more >>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Darfur: Fear for safety

Sudan: Fear for safety
- Ali Haroun (m)
- Faisal Abdullah al-Tahir (m)
- Mohiedin Sharaf (m)
- Tya Kuku Rahal (m)
- Ibrahim Suleiman (m)
- Abdullah Amir al-Mu’minin (m) legal adviser, and at least eleven others

The first five people named above and eight of the others have been detained for five weeks, reportedly in Dirbat, by the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdel Wahed (SLA/A-W), an armed opposition group in Darfur. They are apparently being detained on the orders of Abdel Wahed Mohammed Nur, the leader of the SLA/A-W. Their exact location is not known and Amnesty International fears that they are at risk of being tortured or ill-treated or unlawfully killed.

Some of the men come from Ain Siro, an area 30 kilometres north-west of Kutum in North Darfur, which is under the control of the SLA/A-W. Amnesty International understands that Ali Haroun and the others from Ain Siro supported the unity of the different factions of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), which has splintered into several factions, as well as engaging in political dialogue to end the conflict in Darfur. They were reportedly summoned to the headquarters of the SLA/A-W in Dirbat, where they were disarmed and detained in December. Sources suggest that one of the group, Tya Kuku Rahal, may have been unlawfully killed during his detention.

Abdallah Amir al-Mu’minin, the SLA legal adviser, and three others, are said to have been abducted in Dirbat by SLA/A-W commanders and taken to an unknown place of detention. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Sudan admits responsibility for Darfur attack: UN official

Sudan admits responsibility for Darfur attack: UN official
48 minutes ago

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — A Sudanese military commander has taken responsibility for a recent attack on a supply convoy of the new UN-African Union peacekeeping force in west Darfur, a senior UN official told the Security Council Wednesday.

Jean-Marie Guehenno, head of the UN peacekeeping department, told the 15-member council that a Sudanese area commander had confirmed that "a Sudanese armed force unit fired upon a convoy" ferrying supplies for rations for troops of the joint UN-Africa peacekeeping force (UNAMID) in west Darfur.

Earlier Sudan's UN envoy Abdalmahmood Mohamad rejected the charges and instead blamed Chad-backed rebels for Monday's attack.

He specifically blamed rebels of the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) which he claimed was strongly supported by the Chadian government.

"They (rebels) are encouraged to attack UNAMID to confuse all the cards and to put the government under pressure," Mohamad said, stressing Khartoum has nothing to gain from such an attack. Read more >>>>>>>